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Cyberpunk mod for TheDarkMod: Plans & Contribution feedback

#1
Brick 
Keep in mind this thread is not exclusively about a change that will be done in Xonotic, although it's closely related to Xonotic hence why I put it in this section. It's an idea for which I will be using assets from Xonotic, and which I figure is relevant to the Xonotic community as a whole... granted anyone here would take interest in a single-player open-world RPG in the same style, as much as they do in the arena FPS that Xonotic is. Onto business:

I imagine at least a few people here are familiar with The Dark Mod. For those who aren't, TDM is a steampunk single-player stealth game inspired by the commercial Thief series, currently very solid and of impressive quality for a community project! It's FOSS like Xonotic, although its assets are non-commercial and the development cycle is less open. It uses the newer idTech 4 engine (compared to Darkplaces which is based on idTech 1 to 3) as well as DarkRadiant for map editing (based on GtkRadiant which NetRadiant is a fork of). I sincerely advice everyone to give it a try!

http://www.thedarkmod.com/

So what is this all about, I hear you ask; I've been planning for a while now to create a mod for TDM, which would act as a total conversion to its current theme. The mod would run on top of the existing code while adding new assets for missions to use, overall aiming to work as an independent project. The end goal is to create a platform for developing futuristic city hubs and worlds, inspired by the feel and atmosphere of the DeusEx series. If stock TDM is a fantasy steampunk game, TDM + this mod will be a fantasy cyberpunk game!

In relationship to Xonotic, this will to a certain degree mean "Xonotic ported to idTech 4 and turned single-player". Some of you might have seen my attempt to create a city in Xonotic years back, which was however stopped due to Xon lacking any useful single-player features in its code. I want the first characters used to be the Xonotic player models... and based on what extent new weapons can be coded into TDM, some of the weapon models too. Textures, sounds, parts of the HUD, and more are being considered. Although diversity in terms of themes and ideas is rather lacking, Xonotic has some fantastic quality assets... I believe that using some of them to create a sister project on top of the advanced code and engine of TDM would be a welcome and unique contribution to open-source gaming Smile

The project will however require help in order to happen! This is why I'm informing everyone who might be interested about this, in hopes of possibly setting up a collaboration between the DarkMod and Xonotic communities. The early plan is to pick a large group of freely licensed assets, including Xonotic's alongside art from places like http://opengameart.org and http://www.blendswap.com and other potential resources, then port them into TDM. This will require work in departments such as: Format conversions, writing material and entity definitions, and most of all rigging new characters to the TDM animation skeleton and other special model adjustments (low-poly shadow meshes, separate head with face rig, etc).

If you want more information on what the project aims to achieve, I created a thread on the TDM forums detailing my plans. Please read that as well and let me know what you think. I'll also make a copy of the pool I included there, to see what the general interest level of the Xonotic community is on such a project.

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18625...-feedback/
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#2
I'll have to re-read your post about 4 times, because I really don't quite get it Undecided

Still, I read about deus ex and steam/cyberpunk, so it automatically get's my approval <3 deus ex, best game ever!
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#deathmatchers @ irc.quakenet.org

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#3
(02-07-2017, 03:50 PM)kojn^ Wrote: I'll have to re-read your post about 4 times, because I really don't quite get it Undecided

Still, I read about deus ex and steam/cyberpunk, so it automatically get's my approval <3 deus ex, best game ever!

To reformulate: For many years now, I've been dreaming of creating an original open-source game (or rather toolkit) for single-player worlds with RPG elements, in the same spirit and mood as the first DeusEx game. It aims to revolve around a near-futuristic time period (roughly year 2050), be based on the concept of city hubs which the player can roam, with emphasis on choices and multiple approaches to solving each mission.

My first ever plan was to do this in Xonotic altogether. However the amount of new code needed to support a quality single-player system would be insane, especially with Xonotic being designed strictly to be arena-based. Then I discovered TheDarkMod, which already has impeccable implementations for most mechanics you would want in such a project, which I doubt Xonotic will ever dream of... such as an advanced AI with realistic vision / hearing and multiple alert levels, lights that can be turned on and off and affect how enemies see you, physical objects you can move and stack to climb on, the ability to carry dead bodies with ragdoll support, lip-syncing for voices, flexible entity definitions for characters and items, intuitive area portals which are aware of closed doors and derender the contents of invisible rooms for performance, extra visual effects like realtime lighting and heat haze, and the list may go on.

The plan I'm therefore pondering now is a hybrid between Xonotic and TheDarkMod: Using some of the Xonotic assets and maybe even lore as a basis for building customizable worlds the player can explore and interact with, only on top of TDM's engine and code base. This seems like both the easiest and most optimal solution toward achieving the project I've always envisioned. Especially with both Xon and TDM being part of the same engine family (idTech + gtkRadiant) working in between the two isn't all that unfamiliar.

TLDR; I plan to use Xonotic's assets on TDM's code to make something inspired by the classic DeusEx.
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#4
I'm working on a cyberpunk/urban themed duel map. It could perhaps be later modified and used as a part of a singleplayer campaign.
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#5
(02-08-2017, 05:49 AM)Smilecythe Wrote: I'm working on a cyberpunk/urban themed duel map. It could perhaps be later modified and used as a part of a singleplayer campaign.

That's nice to know, maybe I'll look at it as well! But yeah, very different story: My project involves a full-feature single player campaign, with functionality that would involve doubling Xonotic's existing game code in its final form. Even if the engine differs though, I hope to keep the look and feel Xonotic has been used with... if I can get things to happen that is.
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#6
For what it's worth, the majority of what's required would be smaller than the existing bot AI, nowhere near doubling the game code. It just needs doing, and it looks like nobody is interested in implementing anything singleplayer related at this stage.

Will still be interesting to see what you can come up with though.
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#7
A heads-up: I have begun working on porting ALL of the Xonotic player models into TDM, which will be the first step in the creation of my mod! This not only includes the stock models, but also custom player models I've made based on the originals over the years. A total of 18 new models are going to be included as part of the package Smile

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Unfortunately it will be a few days until they are ready; Blender's automatic weighting isn't always that smart, and the TDM armature doesn't help it either. The arms and legs bend incorrectly by default, and each model needs its weights carefully balanced. Once that's out of the way, the low-poly shadow meshes should be a cinch to make and they should be ready for export.
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#8
First of all, my apologies for how long this has taken: I have been busy with a few other projects and mods, and just now got around to this project once again.

I return with great news: All of the Xonotic characters have been fully ported to The Dark Mod as of today, meaning the first major step has now been taken! The models have been fully rigged (including face rigging where applicable), contain fully working materials (diffuse / specular / normal maps + customizable shirt / glow colors + masked cubemap reflections), and base character definitions. I decided to call the set Troopers, which is divided between 3 categories: Cyborgs (Megaerebus, Erebus, Nyx, Terminus, Termina), Humans (Ignis, Seraphina, Pyria, Umbra), Aliens (Gak, Draconi, Draconia).

I ultimately chose to name the mod The Dark Module, as I found this a name that accurately describes it while also sounding futuristic and integrating nicely with The Dark Mod. It is available on Gitlab... not Github as they have smaller repository limits, and the final mod is expected to hit several gigabytes in size (already it has 421 MB). The repository will contain each component in a subdirectory ending in pk4dir, following the same naming scheme as vanilla TDM pk4's (using the tdmu prefix). To get the components working, each pk4dir directory has to be converted into a pk4 zip archive and moved into the base TDM directory... I plan to create a Linux shell script to automate this process later, until then it must be done manually. The test map I'm using is also not included, you'll have to make your own map until I decide to create an official FM showcasing the mod later on.

Dark Module repository

Here are a few screenshots displaying the characters in their final forms. Note that the white shirt / pants color can be customized via the _color spawnarg on the entity.

http://imgur.com/a/S2lNr

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#9
I've began porting the ex and ex2 texture packages from Xonotic, more are to hopefully follow soon. Here are some screenshots of a few on my local test map:

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Additionally, I've included the shell script that packs each pk4dir into a pk4. If you use Linux or have bash support on Windows (msys2 or Windows 10), simply execute it to convert the data in the Git repository into pk4 zip archives which TheDarkMod and DarkRadiant can read. Since the script is really tiny, here's a readable copy of it:

Code:
#!/bin/bash
# packs each pk4dir directory into a pk4 archive

for dir in *.pk4dir; do
    cd "${dir}"

    dir_noext=$(basename "${dir}" ".pk4dir")
    zip -r -u "../../${dir_noext}.pk4" *

    cd ".."
done
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#10
First of all, no I did not forget about or abandon this project! I've been busy working on one of the most complicated parts I had to dive into so far, which took both a great amount of work as well as some developer learning in the process. I'm also working on a ton of games and animations at once, making it very hard to find the time. Today I finally have something new to offer.

I'm happy to announce that the mod now has its own original bow! It is a compound bow, designed to look modern while otherwise working in a very similar fashion. It's still incomplete, but I managed to finish the bow and arrow models as well as the animations... I still haven't looked into how I'll "teach" the AI how to use it, and new sounds are the next priority. Currently there's only an implementation for the broadhead arrow, but a container arrow has been prepared for implementing the equivalents of other arrow effects (water, fire, etc).

The original compound bow model and texture was created by ScoutingNinja and is licensed CC0, you can find it on its Blendswap page. The 1st person animations for it were created by me from scratch, also CC0 as far as I'm concerned. As usual, you can find and try out TheDarkModule from its Gitlab repository. Let me know what you think!

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#11
Well done, this looks good!
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#12
(01-19-2018, 07:39 AM)aa Wrote: Well done, this looks good!

Thank you, I'm glad that you like it! If I can implement any of the modern weapons into the mod (greatly depends on the limitations of the TDM game code) I'll likely port some weapon models from Xonotic as well! Sadly this is one of the most complicated parts of the mod, and might require script changes that I don't know how to do yet.
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#13
This is coming along really nicely.  I appreciate the log that you kept with your progress.

If I understand correctly, this is a collection of assets, some ported from Xonotic running on idTech4 (game: The Dark Mod), and uses DarkRadiant for map editing.  Are there any glaring differences I should be aware of?

What sort of maps/objects are you interested in?  I've been going through OGA and porting objects to Xonotic, following in the footsteps of Mario.  I have a decent collection of plants so far, and Julius has helped me understand shaders more/rewrote a ton of them so they are looking nice Smile.

I might be interested in playing with DarkRadiant in the future.  What sort of maps/prefabs are you looking for?
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#14
(01-19-2018, 06:48 PM)-z- Wrote: This is coming along really nicely.  I appreciate the log that you kept with your progress.

If I understand correctly, this is a collection of assets, some ported from Xonotic running on idTech4 (game: The Dark Mod), and uses DarkRadiant for map editing.  Are there any glaring differences I should be aware of?

What sort of maps/objects are you interested in?  I've been going through OGA and porting objects to Xonotic, following in the footsteps of Mario.  I have a decent collection of plants so far, and Julius has helped me understand shaders more/rewrote a ton of them so they are looking nice Smile.

I might be interested in playing with DarkRadiant in the future.  What sort of maps/prefabs are you looking for?

That would be correct: The Dark Mod is a steampunk stealth game inspired by the Thief series. It's based on the idTech 4 engine, which is a newer (and the latest open-source) version of the Quake engine Darkplaces and Daemon are based on. For map editing it indeed uses DarkRadiant, which is from the same family as NetRadiant only with a lot of extra features and neat improvements... I believe you can even create TDM maps in NetRadiant and Xonotic maps in DarkRadiant if you wanted since they're so similar.

Right now I'm working on the basics, converting the existing mechanics to something more modern (steampunk to cyberpunk). It will require porting quite a few assets, but I seem to have most of it handled so far. The bigger problem is new functionality (including new scripts) and replacing all of the non-commercial assets with GPL compatible ones.
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#15
Just want to show my respect and appreciation for the skills and the dedication.
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#16
(01-20-2018, 12:48 AM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote: Just want to show my respect and appreciation for the skills and the dedication.

Thank you very much! I'm glad that you are liking the work done so far. Much of this is new to me, but once you get the hang of how the exporter and formats work it becomes easier.
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#17
As I prepare to implement the Combat Knife (Short Sword replacement) and Police Baton (Blackjack replacement) now that the basis of the Compound Bow are there, I figured I'd share another part of the plan that's going to come up soon in my fork.

Similarly to vanilla TDM, I plan to have a base story (cities, factions, characters, etc) meant to be expanded upon by each individual fan mission (unless they go with a fully original background which is of course okay). Now that the Xonotic cast was ported and is in usable condition, I've been thinking of how to divide each of the characters into factions. After pondering upon what would make the most sense, who should be the ally or enemy of who, so on and so forth... I've come up with a structure I'm confident will sit well. I figured I'd share it for critique, in case anyone can suggest any changes or better names and the like. First of all the model references, use these with the screenshots above to tell who is who:
  • Umbra / Pyria: The skinny female and the person wearing a thin mask covering their face.
  • Ignis / Seraphina: The male and female humans in the thick suit, both come in masked and unmasked variants.
  • Megaerebus / Erebus / Nyx: The heavily armored cyborgs with round heads.
  • Terminus / Termina: The heavily armored cyborgs with pointy heads, as well as hoses connected between their limbs and torsos.
  • Gak: The green aliens with flat faces and antennae, they come in masked and unmasked variants.
  • Draconi: The yellow aliens with horns that look like humanoid lizards.
So without further delay, this is how I decided to divide them into groups and factions so far:
  • Umbra:
  1. Description: The Umbra was created as a secret government agency, typically specialized in top level espionage and assassination missions. Upon discovering evidence of government corruption, members of the faction slowly rebelled. Today only a few Umbra exist, hiding in the shadows and plotting to take down the government.
  2. Alliance: Pro-government (if the action takes place in the past) or anti-government (if the action takes place in the future). If the action takes place during the time of the revelations, the Umbra betray the government and change alliance during the mission. Neutral toward Draconi, may be persuaded to form an alliance. The player is part of this faction, all Umbra are the player's colleagues.
  3. Models: Umbra, Pyria
  4. Color: White
  • Police:
  1. Description: The city police force, occasionally hired as guards by government agencies in areas of special interest. Responds to the government, by which it is tasked to maintain public order and enforce curfew hours.
  2. Alliance: Strongly pro-government. Sides with or against the Umbra and player based on their stance toward the government (see above). Will always attack Draconi, except for traitors who choose to serve the government. Some local police forces may rarely desert against the government upon proof of corruption.
  3. Models: Ignis, Seraphina
  4. Color: Blue
  • Terminus Troopers:
  1. Description: The Terminus project is the result of a government experiment, who's aim was creating an army of superhuman soldiers. Their very existence is a secret and known only by a select few. They are tasked to guard secret government bases and objectives, as well as carrying out secret military operations and territorial occupations. Due to high expenses and the medical implications of the procedure, relatively few Terminus troopers exist.
  2. Alliance: Strictly pro-government. Sides with or against the Umbra and player based on their stance toward the government (see above). Will always attack Draconi, except for traitors who choose to serve the government. Always aids the police, with the exception of police forces that desert against the government.
  3. Models: Terminus, Termina
  4. Color: Red
  • Cerulean Guard:
  1. Description: Cerulean Guard is a security firm for hire, allowing groups to hire their specialized troopers as guards to defend their locations. Favored by the government, Cerulean Guard is subject to strict regulation and typically hired only by lawful firms and rich people. Their troopers are partially augmented, using older technology from the Terminus project called Erebus, which was released to the company by the government upon being obsoleted by newer augmentation technology. They are the competitor of Transgenic Security, although they typically serve rich and / or lawful groups in contrast. Note: The name Cerulean was chosen as a tribute to DeusEx - The Nameless Mod, which contains a faction for hire called Cerulean Security.
  2. Alliance: Independent, each group serves the faction it was hired by. If ever given freedom of choice, they are most likely to side with the government.
  3. Models: Megaerebus, Erebus, Nyx
  4. Color: Cyan
  • Transgenic Security:
  1. Description: Transgenic Security is the largest corporation dealing in genetic engineering. They produce semi-sapient creatures with high physical strength, which are sold to other groups who use them as security guards or to establish private armies. The company isn't seen well by the government and operates at the limit of legality, being the favorite choice of shadowy organizations in need of mercenaries thanks to lax legal requirements and cheap prices. Their only successful creature remains the Gak, after the company's failure to produce a stable Draconi (see below). They are the competitor of Cerulean Guard, although they typically serve poor and / or unlawful groups in contrast.
  2. Alliance: Independent, each group serves the faction it was hired by. If ever given freedom of choice, they are most likely to side with the Draconi.
  3. Models: Gak
  4. Color: Lime
  • Draconi:
  1. Description: The Draconi were genetically engineered by Transgenic Security, and intended as a newer and improved version of the Gak. Due to their higher sapience and increased intelligence, the Draconi soon realized they're being used as slave guards by the humans, and decided to rebel and form their own faction. Upon taking over several Transgenic Security laboratories, Draconi have been able to continue their own production and create improved versions of themselves. The race has vowed revenge against both Transgenic Security and the government, although they harbor no ill intent toward ordinary civilians and groups that don't aid the government. Draconi are considered a public safety hazard and are actively hunted down by police, who are often overpowered by the creatures and unable to face them. Draconi usually live in poorer parts of the city, or the sewers and obscure alleys around the richer parts.
  2. Alliance: Anti-government, will also attack all police. Neutral toward other factions, will usually not attack unless provoked. Occasionally makes alliances with other anti-government groups, and may be persuaded to join the Umbra and player in the right conditions. On rare occasions, some Draconi may betray the group and work as special forces for the government (alongside Terminus).
  3. Models: Draconi
  4. Color: Gold
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#18
It appears the combat knife got finished earlier than I expected. It's now available on Git, offering a new model for the same functionality as the short sword (attack from 4 directions, parry, etc).

https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/74407

Last on the list as far as new weapons are concerned (for the time being) will be the police baton. Since this one is so simple, I think I'm going to model and texture it from scratch. It can be expected around next week, especially since I can reuse the knife animations and won't have to make new ones again.

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#19
The police baton has now been implemented and is available in Git master. It replaces the blackjack, currently offering the same functionality under a modern aspect.

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#20
Since I'm going for a detailed interactive world, I decided I'll want at least 4 melee weapons available. As the defs and animations were already done and all I had to do was make a copy and swap the models, it took me only a day to implement 2 extra variants. Normally I'd have considered even more melee objects, however I'm still using the idTech 4 weapon catalog which is limited to 16 definitions and there will also be 8 arrow types for the Compound Bow, thus I'm sticking to 4 until later when a grid inventory may be implemented.
Git now features a Baseball Bat (alternative to the Police Baton) and a Crowbar (alternative to the Combat Knife). The bat + crowbar will be the melee set of thugs and militias, whereas the baton + knife will be the arsenal of police and troopers. Currently there are no differences between the variants, but I plan to tweak the settings to make each one slightly unique. The binds are defined as follows:
  • def_weapon1 baseballbat
  • def_weapon2 policebaton
  • def_weapon3 crowbar
  • def_weapon4 combatknife
  • def_weapon5 nano_simple
The crowbar model was made by me whereas the baseball bat was created by Duion, both licensed CC0:
https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/66593

Obligatory screenshots below. The next step is to tweak the new weapons and do potential cleanups, then I should be able to setup a new HUD. Once that's out of the way, I may begin considering porting my old City map for Xonotic, which I'll be using to showcase the mod using an original FM.

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